Cats Protect Newborns From Asthma

A new study from the Copenhagen Studies on Asthma in Childhood Research Center (COPSAC) in Denmark has found that having cats around the house can help newborn babies avoid developing asthma. In a study of 377 babies who have mothers with asthma, scientists studied a gene variant (TT) that doubles the chance of developing asthma. They took environmental samples in the home and had mothers fill out surveys over time to try to isolate factors that affect the chances of the child developing asthma. They found that when the home has a cat when the baby is born, the TT variant is not activated.    

The result surprised co-author Hans Bisgaard, professor of paediatrics and the head of COPSAC. Not because the results will lead to any new treatments—they will not—but because the study shows that the genes behind a disease can be switched on or off depending on the environment around us.

“For me, this is the core message because it’s a recognition in the direction of how disease occurs. It documents the interplay between genetics and the environment we live in, and in particular that this occurs very early in life, both during pregnancy and in the home,” says Bisgaard.

The study found that dogs had no effect on babies who carry the TT gene variant, which also is connected with pneumonia and bronchitis. Read more about the study at Science Nordic. -via reddit

(Image credit: Flickr user drosen7900)

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How To Get A Toddler To Fall Asleep In The Car

As a new father I'm sure I'll be searching online for tips and fatherly advice when I have questions, but most of all I'll be consulting the video series How To Dad because the dad in the vids really has his head together.

In this episode the How To Dad dad answered a question sure to come up when my son has reached toddlerhood- How do you get a toddler with lots of energy to fall asleep in the car?

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Rock the whole car like a cradle- now that makes a lot of sense!

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Loving Parents Sing "One Day" To Their Adorable Little Baby

Meet Yoni and Nina aka Yonina, an Israeli couple who enjoy singing in sweet harmony to their adorable and adoring little baby, and every week they post a new video to YouTube to spread the love through song.

This particular video featuring Yonina singing Matisyahu's One Day went viral, and even though their singing is sweet and the beatboxing is fresh people online are pretty sure the baby is the secret to their viral success.

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That sweet little baby sure loves her parents!

-Via Shareably

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Children's Books No One Reads Now

Children's books seem like timeless tales to the kids who love them, and yet parents find there's a whole new batch of tales being told by the time they have kids, the old stories left by the wayside.

When I was a kid Richard Scarry, Dr. Seuss and the Berenstein Bears were all the rage, and an old classic called Raggedy Ann was enjoying a revival thanks to the animated features released in the late 70s.

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Nowadays most kids have never heard of the Raggedy Ann stories created by Johnny Gruelle, and people will call someone a "goody two-shoes" without realizing the name comes from a story published by John Newbery in 1765.

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And even though there are a dozen or more imitators out there today the original sensory exploration book The Touch Me Book by Pat and Eve Witte has been placed on some faraway bookshelf time forgot.

See 15 Children's Books No One Reads Now at Mental Floss

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Tweets That Prove Some Kids Are Evil Geniuses

The mind of a child works in ways we adults typically cannot comprehend, and what makes perfect sense to their very young brains often seems like pure madness to our adult minds.

Those crazy kids' thoughts are hilarious, but when a kid says something that makes perfect sense yet sounds a bit sinister we stop laughing and our mind starts racing. 

We find ourselves wondering who let the little evil mastermind into the house in the first place, let alone gave them their own room, and as the kid's campaign of wickedness continues they go from being a mere brat to our archenemy.

See 15 Tweets That Prove Kids Are Actually Mini Evil Geniuses here 

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Toddler Recreates His Model Uncle's Photos And Definitely Does It Better

Toddlers typically aren't self conscious, or fashion conscious for that matter, but they do make great models because they're adorable and they'll pose for photos all day long if you make the shoot into a game.

But eighteen-month-old Augie Polites ain't playin' no games when it comes to modeling, and he's already giving his famous model uncle Aristotle Polites a run for his money.

Happy Monday! #mcm #whoworeitbetter #augiebear #unclesneezer #augieandaris #babyandthebody

A post shared by Augie and Aris (@babyandthebody) on Oct 2, 2017 at 5:04am PDT

Little Augie may not have ripped abs, sexy stubble or paychecks from modeling gigs like his uncle, but thanks to his mom's Instagram account @babyandthebody he's about to become more internet famous than his uncle will ever be!

Happy Monday! #mcm #whoworeitbetter #augiebear #unclesneezer #augieandaris #babyandthebody

A post shared by Augie and Aris (@babyandthebody) on Jul 3, 2017 at 5:46am PDT

See This Toddler Is Recreating His Model Uncle's Photos And He's Def Doing It Better here

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Baby Hears Mommy for the First Time

Christy Keane's daughter Charly was born deaf. She's still an infant, but recently got hearing aids. We've seen older children and adults get emotional when they hear sound for the first time, but Charly is so young, she doesn't understand what's happening or how to react. Her facial expressions are precious.

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She's instantly delighted, then confused, then a little scared, then delighted again. She never takes her eyes off her Mommy, though, so you know she's going be alright. You can see more of Charly at Instagram. -via Digg

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When Homework Goes Wrong

A fifth grade class is studying World War II. One homework assignment was to define some of the terms they learned in class. This student, a cousin of redditor LeBronJameson, used Google Search to come up with the answers. Sometimes that helps; sometimes you get busted, especially if you didn't pay attention at all in the classroom. I hope he/she learned to double check and maybe get a second source. -via reddit

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If Toddlers Could Post On Facebook

These days children are being introduced to tech gadgets like tablets and smartphones at an earlier age than ever before, and I constantly see parents appeasing their toddlers by allowing them to stare at their smartphones.

So it's only a matter of time before toddlers figure out how to create their own Facebook accounts on mommy's smartphone, and according to this hilarious Toddler Facebook mockup from mommyshorts their posts will be hilarious to read.

Even though they'll have to pretend to be at least 13 years old we'll know the truth, especially when they talk about naps, forgetting people's names and pooping in the bathtub...on second thought it'll be just like when really old people post on Facebook!

-Via Geeks Are Sexy

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Extraordinary Kids in Zero Gravity

In a collaboration between Les Chevaliers du Ciel (The Knights Of Heaven), the European Space Agency (ESA), and noveSpace (a company that operates a vomit comet), a group of disabled kids got to experience weightlessness, accompanied by ESA astronauts. Ten people with mobility issues were freed from the limits of gravity. It was an experience to remember.

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From the YouTube Page:

The kids came from five ESA member states – UK, France, Germany, Belgium, and Italy – and boarded the converted Airbus A310 Zero G in Bordeaux, France on 24 August as part of this “Kid’s Weightless Dreams” flight. True weightlessness is produced in the large cabin area of this aircraft during repetitive parabolic maneuvers, as in the Air Zero G flights operated by Novespace.

The children also took part in education experiments including lighting a candle, mixing liquids of different densities, playing ping-pong with bubbles of water and working a fidget spinner to demonstrate the effects of weightlessness.

Joining the children were ESA astronauts from their corresponding member states: Tim Peake (UK), Frank De Winne (Belgium), Maurizio Cheli (Italy), Thomas Reiter (Germany), Claudie Haigneré and Jean-Francois Clervoy (France) mentored the children on board and answered their questions.

Two disabled adults, former athlete and German television personality Samuel Koch, a strong advocate for disabled causes, and Philippe Carette, a very active Rêve de Gosse volunteer and pilot, also took part in the flight.

Did you catch the girl who used the few minutes of zero-G to walk? That's at 2:35. The event was organized by Rêves de Gosse (Kids’ Dreams), which provides children with educational opportunities and adventures involving space flight.  -via Geekologie

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It seems like just yesterday when we found out the Lunarbaboon family was going to welcome another child, and now she's old enough to have role models. I can attest to the importance of role models for little girls. Every time we met a woman pediatrician, she'd soon find another position in a larger city. So my youngest decided she wanted to grow up to be a waitress, because that's the job she saw women doing. Luckily, she discovered Jane Goodall during grade school. This is the latest comic from Lunarbaboon.

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The Popcorn Thief

Prince Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, was in Toronto to attend the Invictus Games, which he founded. In this video, his attention is split between the sports and a conversation with the man to his left. Meanwhile, a toddler is helping herself to his popcorn!

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By the time Harry noticed her and offered her a kernel, she'd already eaten about half of his box. A good time was had by all. -via Laughing Squid

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Three-Year-Old Claims He Knows Everything, Does A Reddit "Ask Me Anything" To Prove It

Little kids love to make big, bold claims they can't back up, since boasting is a natural part of childhood as they try to figure out who they are and what they're truly capable of doing.

But 3-year-old Caleb from Texas wasn't boasting when he said "I'm 3. I know everything", and he hosted a Reddit AMA (with a little help from his father Matthew) to prove it.

His answers to questions like "what's the most complex thing you know?" (An idea) and "why do we have toes?" (Because we do) are pretty clever for such a young kid, and some of his answers seem like something a philosopher would say, not a preschooler.

Caleb even had great advice on how to impress dinner guests, which is pretty impressive considering the kid isn't even old enough to pour his own bowl of cereal, let alone bake a cake!

See more from 3-Year-Old Claims He Knows Everything, Does Reddit "Ask Me Anything" To Prove it here

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A Colorful Map Showing The Top Baby Names Of 2016 By State

When a baby name is trendy it spreads through neighboring families like a virus, making the kids with truly original names stand out in a classroom full of Taylors, Logans and Zoes.

Those names are so 2015, and yet people were still drawing names from pop culture like crazy in 2016, although there was also a huge resurgence in biblical names, with Noah and Elijah winning by a mile.

Then again Elijah could have been inspired by Elijah Wood, and Liam is probably inspired by Liam Neeson, with Emma (Stone/Watson/Roberts), Olivia (Munn/Wilde) and Mia (Goth/Farrow) topping the list for girls.

Julie Gerstein of BuzzFeed took information from the Top 5 Baby Names By State For Births In 2016 released by the Social Security Administration and used it to create colorful maps that prove parents are uncreative from coast to coast.

See full sized maps of boys names and girls names here

-Via BuzzFeed

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For Centuries, People Celebrated a Little Boy’s First Pair of Trousers

For much of history, children were dressed in relatively simple garments that allowed for the fact that they couldn't yet dress themselves. As clothing became more structured, both boys and girls were dressed in skirts and dresses, which allowed for easier diaper changing and toilet training. The day a boy began wearing pants was a momentous occasion, and signaled that he was now a man-in-training.  

With the power of pants came an understanding of manly responsibility, writes Jennifer Jordan in an essay on 17th-century masculinity. “The breeching ceremony stands out as one of the most significant milestones in a boy’s journey to acquiring manhood.” This seems to have been understood by even very little boys. Samuel Coleridge, the English poet and philosopher, described his five-year-old son Hartley being breeched in an 1801 letter. “He did not roll and tumble over and over in his old joyous way,” he wrote. “No! It was an eager & solemn gladness, as if he felt it to be an awful area in his Life.” These parties were usually held over a weekend at home, with relatives invited to stay. The pockets of Hartley’s breeches jingled with “a load of money,” Coleridge wrote, likely gifted to this fledgling man by visiting family members.

After his "breeching," a boy would spend his time in the company of men and other boys, while girls stayed near their mothers and learned the gentle arts of the home. Read about the historical tradition of a boy's transition to pants at Atlas Obscura.

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What Matters Most

Oh, you'd be surprised what kids remember. They may not recall those times together the same way you do, or the same details you recall, but they remember in their own way. My now-adult children talk about the adventures of their childhoods and the things we did together, but the details that stuck out in their minds were surprises to me. We all organize our memories in our own way, and adults tend to prioritize things that are novel. To kids, everything is novel, so what stays with them may seem random to us. But his main theme is correct -being there for each other is what matters most. This is the latest comic from Lunarbaboon.

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Meet Coco, The Adorable 6-Year-Old Instagram Star With A Flair For Fashion

Some of the Insta-famous "stars" of Instagram take themselves way too seriously yet have nothing new or special to offer, and since new selfie stars pops up daily it can be hard to find Instagrammers worth following.

But enough about those totally lame selfie shooters who clutter up Instagram, let's talk about a young lady you should be following if you like fashion- 6-year-old Coco Hamamatsu, aka coco_pinkprincess, who represents Harajuku in both style and attitude.

Coco and her family were forced to move to Harajuku after the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, where her parents opened up a boutique and introduced Coco to a love of fashion at an early age.

Her individual sense of style, straight up perfect poses and innocent-yet-fiercely fabulous attitude make Coco more than just a kid posing for pics and prove her Insta-fame is well deserved.

. :@mitograph . #kidzfashion #igkiddies #harajuku #harajukugirl #harajukufashion #tokyofashion

A post shared by COCO (@coco_pinkprincess) on Sep 1, 2017 at 6:39am PDT

See More from Meet Coco, The Adorable Six-Year-Old Instagram Star With Killer Style here

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How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Jordan Watson, the "How To Dad," shows us his foolproof method for getting kids to eat vegetables. Have the kids grow them in the garden! Above you see the idyllic gardening scene just before the baby falls in the hole they dug. Yep, gardening is a lot of fun. Eating vegetables? Not so much.

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Parents want their children to eat healthy foods, but learn early that forcing a child to eat right is a losing battle. Strict rules and arguments are liable to do more harm than good. So you offer a variety of nutritious foods and hope for the best …and they hold out all day for chicken nuggets. So how do you get children to like vegetables? I tried gushing over how much I loved to eat vegetables. I tried hiding them in other foods. I tried having the kids grow their own garden. You know what worked for me?

One night at dinner, when we had three tween girls and an always-hungry older teenage boy who ate everything in sight, one of the girls made a remark about our son's eating habits. I mentioned that a person's tastes changed when they matured. Real adults have different tastes, and when and if you girls ever mature, you need to try the foods you don't like all over again to see if they are good. If you like them, that's a sign of becoming an adult. I said that, but I didn't give orders. I knew it was useless by then. But they wanted to be adults so badly that they actually tried the "test." It turned out each kid found different vegetables they now liked, so I served an entire salad bar at dinner every evening. Whatever works. 

Science tells us that children are more sensitive to bitter tastes than adults, and they are also programmed to prefer high-energy foods. But repeated exposure to different foods helps a child become more comfortable with vegetables. Here are some tips to make vegetables more palatable to children. You might like those recipes, too!  

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People Share Their Kids' Cleverest Inventions

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Kids can be quite clever and resourceful when they are trying to accomplish a goal, and some of the inventions kids come up with seem laughable when they tell you about them but turn out to be pure genius in action.

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Tired of dropping your book in the tub? This girl used a retractable leash to make soggy books a thing of the past.

And no hardcore gamer wants to keep getting up whenever they need water, so this little girl solved the problem with a wearable pouch.

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Little inventors are often little money makers as well, and some kids are so smart they come up with an invention that helps people, capitalizes on a trend and makes them a buck- like the clever Poke Glo Safety Buttons this kid came up with for Pokemon Go players.

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See 10+ Times Kids Surprised Their Parents With Their Genius Inventions here

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This 7-Year-Old Tattoo Artist Is Ready To Give You A Tat You'll Regret

I recently wrote about a 12-year-old tattoo artist from Brazil known as The Shark, who appears to have a bright future in the body art business even though he has yet to apply an entire tattoo to a client's skin.

He's on his way to becoming a tattoo artist extraordinaire while 7-year-old Russian tattoo artist Lisa Jelizaveta is already applying full pieces to clients who end up with a tattoo that looks like what you'd expect from a 7-year-old.

Likewise Lisa's "tattoo gun" looks like a janky jailhouse tat gun to me, so there's another point in The Shark's favor, but I guess if you're in the market for a permanent reminder that you make bad decisions then Lisa's your gal!

-Via design you trust

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Parents Share The Weirdest Stuff They've Found In Their Kids' Bedrooms

Kids don't like it when their parents invade their privacy by snooping around in their rooms, but these investigations are necessary to keep our kids safe and make sure they're not getting themselves into trouble.

"I do not know why, but my 8-year-old has taped a mustard packet to his door and labeled it 'Top Secret,'" Reddit user FaustusRedux wrote. Because, of course.

Redditor FaustusRedux didn't know what to think when they found a packet of mustard taped to their 8-year-old's door labeled "Top Secret" but they assumed it was nothing sinister.

On the flip side Redditor bonro started to get worried about their kid when he lost 31 pairs of swim goggles- until they found the missing goggles and cracked the case:

Reddit user bonro spent almost a year buying and re-buying goggles for her 14-year-old son to wear to swim practice, only for them to disappear after just a few uses. She grew more and more frustrated before finally finding all 31 missing pairs at once: They were tucked away in a hole in her 11-year-old daughter's mattress, where the family's pet ferret had apparently been storing them.

Most of the time kids have a perfectly logical explanation for the weird stuff they do in their room, or at least an explanation that makes sense to them, and their answers are almost always adorable:

While cleaning the house one day, commenter comonnow went to return one of his 5-year-old daughter's dolls to her bedroom — where he found every last one of her dolls set up to stare him down as he entered the room. "When my daughter got home from school I had to ask her why, because she had never arranged them like that before, and she casually stated that she wants them all to see her when she gets home," the Reddit user wrote. Fair enough.

Read Parents of Reddit, What is the weirdest/most shocking thing you have found in your child's room? here

-Via Good Housekeeping

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The 13-Year-Old Trapped In A Toddler's Body

Most people are familiar with disorders like Autism, Down syndrome or ADHD, but there's a chromosome-based disorder out there so rare it doesn't even have a name and leaves kids looking like toddlers for the rest of their lives.

Tandy Palmes's son Angus is thought to be the only child in the world affected by this strange disorder, which caused him to stop growing at the age of three, so she went on This Morning to discuss the disorder:

Tandy explained to presenters Sarah Greene and Rylan Clark-Neal that doctors were concerned about his health after he was born, and sent him for testing to get to the bottom of things

"We had no idea there was anything wrong, although they had their suspicions," Tandy said.

"They took us in an ambulance to one of the Manchester hospitals and did some genetic tests and three weeks after that they told me they found this chromosome abnormality by accident."

The condition means that Angus, who is 13 years old, remains in the body of a toddler after he stopped growing when he was just three.

(YouTube Link)

-Via Digital Spy

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The Best

Remember when you were a kid, and you didn't really know what to do with an aunt or uncle, and then you found out they were the coolest person in the family? That only works until Mom and Dad find out. It's pretty fun on the other end, too. Babysitting is always easier when you're not the one responsible for how the child turns out. Also, if Mom and Dad find out, then maybe they won't ask any favors of you in the future. This is the newest comic from Lunarbaboon.

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Dog Cries with Baby

This is the story of two who are so clueless that you have to laugh. Dog takes baby's cracker. Baby realizes cracker is gone. Baby cries. Dog cries in sympathy. The world makes no sense.

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You have to admit, it's both cute and funny. -via Digg

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How to Put a Kid to Bed

Children do not want to go to sleep at 8 PM, or whenever you've decided bedtime is. They're not sleepy, and they want to play. But their parents have been waiting all day for a chance to catch their breath, and they'd love to have a few minutes of calm before they fall into their own exhausted sleep. New Zealand dad Jordan Watson (previously at Neatorama) shares some of his wisdom about putting children to bed.

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It's a losing battle. You cannot make a child fall asleep. You can only hope to outlast them so you can have a few minutes to yourself. Good luck. -via Tastefully Offensive

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Uncombable Hair Syndrome

A lot of people have curly hair that's hard to comb, but this is something else altogether. Shilah Madison Calvert-Yin has "uncombable hair syndrome," which is a real condition. Each shaft of her hair is triangular instead of round. It's caused by a gene mutation, and is very rare. Only about 100 people in the world have the syndrome. But Shilah's family has embraced her awesome hair.

“Shilah loves her unique hair, but that has come from constant positive reinforcement at home from friends and family,” her mom Celeste Calvert-Yin, who lives in Melbourne Australia, told TODAY via email.

“As a little, little girl she often told us she was like a unicorn as they are very special and unique just like her. It brought a tear to our eye.”  

People often say she has hair like Doc Brown from back to the future, lucky it's one of our fave movies #uncombablehairsyndrome

A post shared by Shilah Madison Calvert-Yin (@shilahmadison) on Jul 12, 2017 at 2:49pm PDT

You can follow 7-year-old Shilah at her Instagram page. -via Boing Boing

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Dad Wrongly Thinks His Kid Created The Filthiest Artwork Ever

Some kids create art that looks like nothing but scribbles, others make art that is so inscrutable you have the ask the kid what the hell it's supposed to be.

But the kid in this story made a piece of art so vile and perverted his Redditor father Bubsing thought the kid was headed for counseling and home schooling:

‘My kid created what I thought was an angry-rage-boner-poop-fly-guy,’ Bubsing wrote.

It turns out Bubsing was all wrong about his kid's strange creation- because he was looking at the artwork upside down.

As soon as Bubsing turned the paper art masterpiece right side up all faith in his child was instantly restored, as the angry poop became Fly Guy from the chilren's book series by Tedd Arnold.

-Via Metro

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His Introduction to Bureaucracy

This little boy lost a tooth, placed it under his pillow, and received a dollar from the Tooth Fairy. He responded with a letter asking for a raise from a dollar to $5. This is the letter he got in return. In case you can't read the print, you can enlarge the original image here.

He does look a little perplexed at the official explanation. Considering he's about six or seven years old, it's probably not that easy for him to read, much less understand. But he's got another dollar just for asking, so that's probably a win in his eyes. Let's just hope the warning about keeping his teeth clean and cavity-free sinks in. -via reddit

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Parents Having Way Too Much Fun With Their Babies

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Parents who feel burdened and stressed out by their new bundle of joy are missing one key factor about babies- they're like living dolls, and therefore quite amusing to have around.

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You can't toss them around like plush toys or expect them to strike and hold a pose like an action figure, but if you let your baby do their thing and follow suit the resulting photos will be pure comedy gold.

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And since your child isn't old enough to remember the time you let a lemur crawl all over their head for the sake of a photo op you won't be scarring them emotionally and therefore won't be on the hook for the cost of their therapy!

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See 43 Times Parents Had Way Too Much Fun With Their Babies here

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This Boy Loves Paint Shopping

It's exciting to discover what our kids are going to get jazzed about because they don't even know yet, and whether they flip out over something silly or something worthy of excitement their reaction is always precious.

The little guy in this video is named Brock, and his mom Anita Mander captured his adorable reaction when she took Brock with her to pick out paint colors at Home Depot.

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Looks like little Brock has an innate love of color, maybe he'll grow up to be an artist or an interior designer?

-Via Laughing Squid

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